xv BRUSH-TAILED PORCUPINE $OI least promulgating, this legend, which has even grown so in the telling that the quills are said to be capable of penetrating planks of wood. What Buffon said apropos of this matter is, " The marvellous commonly is pleasingly believed, and increases in proportion to the number of hands it passes through." It is of course the rattling of the spines and the occasional falling out of loose ones which has started the legend. They are, however, excellent weapons of offence, and the animal charges somewhat backwards to make the best use of them against the foe. The spines, however, are by no means an absolute protection, since, as Mr. Ridley informs us,1 Tigers will kill and eat these animals just as the Thylacine is apparently indifferent to the spiny armature of JZchidna* Of the Brush-tail Porcupine, A.tJierura?' there are at any rate two species, the West African *A. africana and the Malayan ^d. fascicidata. It is interesting that the gap in the present distribu- tion is partially filled by the discovery of fossil teeth near Madras. The genus does not differ widely in external appearance from Ilystrive; it has, however, a rather longer tail; there are fewer large spines, and there is a tuft of them at the end of the tail, whence is derived the name of the genus. The frontal bones project a little distance between the nasals, a feature which does not seem to appear in the true Porcupines, There are fourteen dorsal vertebrae and five lumbars. The twenty-four caudal verte- brae of this Porcupine shows how much longer is its tail than that of JETystrix ; for in the latter twelve is about the number. A third genus of Old-World Porcupine is the singular Trichys?' Of this there is but one species, T. lipura. It is a curious fact that out of three examples, all from Borneo, two were quite without a tail. But this appears to be merely a mutilation, though it is singular that the natives state it to be without a tail. One cannot help thinking of the way in which lizards sometimes shed their tails when pecked at. The tail of this genus is more than half the length of the body and head. TricJiys has sixteen dorsal and six lumbar vertebrae. There is a tuft of quills at the end of the tail, which are thin and compressed, 1 JSTat, Science, vi. 1895, p. 94. 2 See Parsons. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1894, p. 675. s Giinther, P-roc. Zool. Soc. 1876, p. 739, and 1889, p. 75 ; and Cederblom, JaJirb. &yst. Abth. xi. 1897-98, p. 497.